The Patriarchy is Literally Going to Destroy us

by kara on May 24, 2019

We’re finally seeing how voter suppression, mass incarceration, the war on women and the demise of labor all feed off each other. Something conservatives figured out 50 years ago.

  1. Abortion is being criminalized in state after state, punishing poor people and people of color.
  2. We have no attorney general.
  3. Prosecutions of Trump’s political opponents seem inevitable.
  4. War crimes are being rewarded.
  5. Foreign adversaries have been invited to interfere with our elections, again.
  6. We’re denied even basic knowledge about how effectively we’ve already been hacked.
  7. The census is being rigged to reinforce minority rule for at least another decade.
  8. The Trump Administration is trying to start a war with Iran and the press is proving it learned nothing from Iraq.
  9. And the federal courts are lost, probably for the rest of our lives.

When did we first begin to get our ass kicked after the monumental victories of the 60s, despite a few good months in 2009 and 2010?

Was it when Democrats barely defeated the man who pardoned Nixon, failing to pass any sort of labor reform under Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton or Barack Obama? 

Was it the shift to policies that prioritize incarceration over social services? 

Was it a fear of prioritizing the courts or anything that boldly protected or expanded abortion rights, though Roe remains far more popular than any conservative policy? 

Was it the failure of expanding on the success of the Motor Voter Law? Was the tipping point just two bad elections — 2014 and 2016?

Obviously, it was the not the moment Trump — the personification of all that’s wrong with conservatism but not the cause of any of it — was “elected.”

The Powell Memo of 1972 lays out a master plan that has largely become a reality. a blueprint for corporate domination of american democracy

U.S. President Richard Nixon holds a commission that he will present to Lewis F. Powell Jr., left, and another will be given to William Rehnquist, right, at a White House ceremony in Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 1971. The two men were appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)

People on the left tend to think systematically about policy, which is why Democratic policies lead to better job growth, more people insured and a inclusion for those who have historically been denied rights. But when it comes power, conservatives get it. And the left has gotten served.

This is why appeals to trust the elders of the Democratic Party are starting to ring increasingly hollow to so many. Nancy Pelosi is the singularly most successful Congressional leader of the century. She must have a plan for Trump, right? We have 243 years of democracy under our belt – surely there are systems in place to deal with this, right?

Let’s hope she’s giving Donald Trump a master class in dealing with narcissistic personality disorder and that she knows that he wants nothing more than for the House Democrats to bumblefuck their way into a speedy impeachment, so that it can skedaddle on over to the fucking Senate before things deteriorate for Trump, the turtle fuck can throw a show trial, it’ll lose, and then the GOP can hit the 2020 campaign running before the end of 2019.

I want Trump impeached, I want it NOW. But, the reality may be that the practical impact of impeachment was wildly diminished when the shit for brains 1990’s Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over a consensual sex scandal and could fuck us over. I don’t know. We are all grappling with the unknown, and need to return to normalcy, the feeling that somebody has got this. They’ve led us back to power before to deal with losing wars, financial crises, wacked budgets. Now, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to restore the rule of law after the rise of authoritarianism.

But what we all feel is that we are getting our asses kicked. And we need a plan. It’s clear that reproduction rights fighters have failed miserably and that they have no plan. They have failed women on every level. We have to take back the narrative and restructure this debate.

Whereas it’s obvious that the forced birth lobby in America has been operating in a well-coordinated fashion to end the legal right of women to seek an abortion. Like the Sons of Jacob in A Handmaid’s Tale, they want to take away a woman’s right to control her own reproductive decisions and hand those decisions over to misogynistic religious conservatives.

This is what is happening this year, 2019, 46 years after Roe vs Wade:

Outright bans on abortion (10 states)

  • Alabama – Makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years. No exception for rape or incest
  • Arkansas – Bans abortions after 18 weeks. Includes exceptions for rape, incest, and medical emergencies.
  • Georgia – Bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected which can be as early as 6 weeks. Includes exceptions for rape and incest if a police report is filed and to save the mother’s life or if the fetus is nonviable.
  • Kentucky – Similar ban to Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill. Struck down by federal judge, will go to the Supreme Court.
  • Mississippi – Similar ban to Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill.
  • North Dakota – Bans most second trimester abortions except in the case of emergency. Punishes doctors only.
  • Ohio – Similar to Georgia’s heartbeat bill.
  • Louisiana – Near passage of a heartbeat bill
  • South Carolina – Near passage of a heartbeat bill
  • Missouri – Near passage of a heartbeat bill (no exceptions)

Trigger laws – Complete bans if Roe is overturned (14 states)

  • Kentucky
  • Arkansas
  • Tennessee
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Pre-Roe abortion bans still in place (7 states)

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Michigan
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

These are not all happening right now and this quickly by accident. This is a concerted, decades long effort by the forced birthers. They are moving quickly now, not because public opinion has finally swung in their favor – because it has not – but because they finally have what they have been waiting for: someone as dumb and craven as Donald Trump to hold the highest office in the land, and a compliant Supreme Court to be delivered to them. With Trump and McConnell, their moment has finally arrived.

If you think Republicans are willing to negotiate on the forced birth issue, disabuse yourself of that notion please. In Michigan, House Republicans passed a bill that would prohibit the use of dilation and evacuation procedures to end late-term pregnancies involving nonviable fetuses. When confronted with the fact that D&E procedures are the safest and least painful way to deal with these tragically sad situations, we have Republican assholes like Michigan State Sen. Kim LaSata, who became angry after testimony that by banning standard second-trimester procedures for abortion, the Michigan legislature would be putting women into painful and dangerous scenarios. Sen. LaSata’s response was the kind of Jesus empathizing you might expect from a good Christian:

Of course it should be hard! And the procedure should be painful! And you should allow God to take over!! And you should deliver that baby!”

The women who are put in the position of having to get a D&E are women who have already been pregnant for quite awhile. Many, if not most of them have already chosen names and decorated their nursery. But Ms. LaSata isn’t content for them to have to go through that excruciating mental and psychic trauma of losing that baby after all of that. She wants them to deal with physical pain and suffering, too. In her deranged mind, it’s God’s will. For forced birth proponents, women are simply host bodies, there to deliver children no matter how painful or how dangerous or how potentially fatal that may be for them. Even if the child will be born dead.

Being overly draconian isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. It’s the actual intent. In their effort to remake American in the model of the Republic of Gilead, they are pushing things so far that they are guaranteed to be sued which will allow them to take their case to the Trump-stacked Supreme Court which has made it quite clear that precedent, the so-called principle of stare decisis, is nothing but a quaint concept in American jurisprudence today.

Forced birth conservatives have recently invented a new kind of abortion. One in which an expectant mother is having a bad day, gives birth, and then the doctor stabs a perfectly good baby in the head for no reason other than pure cruelty and blood thirst. 

Remember that hilarious time when the media pretended that Hillary Clinton had “defended an accused child rapist and laughed about his lenient sentence,” because 40 years prior she had been ordered by the court to represent a criminal defendant, and she actually did her job? Remember when they spent months reporting that she had given speeches to Goldman Sachs for money!!!(I had a respectable, very rich man I know actually complain about Hillary’s paid speeches as a “money grab”), while ignoring the part about Donald Trump getting paid $150,000 by a Ukrainian oligarch to Skype in for a 15-minute talk, and then routing the cash through his charitable foundation where it would be conveniently un-taxed?

Last week, Senator reporters were outraged that Elizabeth Warren got paid in actual American currency for practicing law. The blatant sexism in the coverage has overtaken the nothingburger story itself. How dare Elizabeth Warren get paid fair market value for her labor! If she had minutes in the day left over after being a law professor at University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, she should have spent them advising students and organizing the office Christmas party, or writing letters of recommendation for their male peers. You know, the uncompensated shit that women do just because they have always done it.

The woman is running for president against a man who routinely stiffed his creditors, who ran a scam “university,” and whose main “achomlishment” is managing to go bankrupt running a casino — a giant machine that takes in quarters and gives back nickels. And the woman gets WHAT IS SHE HIDING???? Donald Trump is waging several legal battles to hide his taxes and finances from the American voters. But please, tell us more about Elizabeth Warren’s scandaloushourly compensation for hard-earned expertise, which she voluntarily disclosed on her own campaign website.

We see you coming, assholes. We saw it last month with all those How Is Bernie Even Getting Paid to Write a Book if He Says Billionaires Don’t Deserve a Tax Cut? stories. As if Elizabeth Warren getting $425,000 over a period of years is exactly the same as the Trump kids getting a billion dollar windfall if we abolish the estate tax. How can you say you really oppose homelessness if you live in a house? If she really supported ending the plight of the poor, she’d get rid of the pantsuit and wear a barrel held up by suspenders!

Doug McLeod, a Mississippi state Representative was a co-sponsor of the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” banning most abortions in Mississippi, a bill that Republicans have been claiming they support because they just love fetuses so much, and not because they love controlling women so much. Well, he was arrested this past weekend for punching his wife in the face while very drunk, because he wanted to have sex with her, and she did not get undressed fast enough. He punched his beloved so hard that there was blood on their bed and floor. She had to barricade herself in the room with another woman to call the police while Rep. McLeod banged on the door, threatening to kill her dog.

The deputies’ report said when they arrived, McLeod was holding a “glass of alcohol” and replied “Are you kidding me?” when they notified him that they were there because of a reported domestic assault. Mr. Special was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and released him on a $1000 bond. Mississippi law does not prohibit those with domestic violence misdemeanors from owning weapons, which I would imagine is not a very fun fact if you happen to be Doug McLeod’s wife. Remember a few months ago when Republicans and the NRA were all upset because the new Violence Against Women Act included a provision banning those with misdemeanor domestic violence charges from owning a gun? This alcoholic, rage punching lawmaker is who they were fighting for. This is the kind of fella they wanted to make sure could still have a gun. You know, in case his next wife failed to get naked fast enough.

And shit like this is why we do not believe the forced birther people. At all. For even a second. Certainly, if they really cared about “life,” they would not be giving Doug McLeod the chance to do a post-birth abortion on his wife with a gun he can legally purchase in their state.

If this was about “preserving life from conception forward”, we’d see mass protests outside fertility clinics where fertilized human eggs are discarded. Ain’t happening. Just like male masturbation won’t be considered genocide, blowjobs cannibalism, ultrasounds child pornography and Viagra an illicit drug. Yeah, the whole “personhood” thing isn’t really well thought out.

Many men are the product of a culture that teaches male entitlement. Men are entitled to women, to sex, to jobs, to money. It is why you haven’t seen so many women in fields like art or TV comedy until recently – women are raised to believe we have to have a more realistic prospect of making a living. My parents were a little alarmed that I wanted to be an artist, for those reasons. Men are raised differently. No woman I knew growing up in the 70s and 80s would have conceived of a job in art or comedy. The real problem are the men who are raised in this culture of entitlement who if they don’t get what they feel they are owed, become livid and blame women Men like Elliot “Incel” Rodger, or the guy who murdered those women in an L.A. Fitness center. You don’t see women committing crimes like this because we are not taught to feel entitled to these things. They create environments where they can be as repulsive as they like, without consequences and are in fact rewarded for being cruel and offensive. When they leave their bubble, they discover that other people do not feel this is an acceptable way of behaving and the things they felt entitled to become even further out of their reach, they feel even more rejected and more angry and more dangerous.

The only way to stop more people like this is to stop teaching men to feel entitled. Start with not telling them they are so so fucking special because of their dicks, or their whiteness. Stop with the “boys will be boys.” Start by telling them there’s no such thing as “friendzoning” and that women are allowed to not be sexually attracted to them. Start by telling them to listen when we say that we don’t want their “compliments” on the street, and that we don’t have to be flattered by them. It’ll work out better for all of us. And stop handing out trophies to men who claim to be progressive but are still fucking misogynistic. We often tolerate them, and refuse to stand up to them.

Men, you can use your voices to stand up to men behaving badly toward women, whether in real life, or on the internet (which is also real life, because we are real people tip tapping away). Men who believe themselves superior to women do not listen to women. And they probably won’t change because of anything you say, but they will be afraid to behave that way if you guys stand up to them.

Maybe spend a few minutes reflecting on your behavior. Do you freak out when a man you admire is accused of inappropriate behavior, and start blaming the woman because she had a glass of wine or was perceived as flirtatious? Do you lose your mind when a woman respectfully disagrees with you or stands up for herself to a man? My point is, you don’t have to be an Elliot Rodgers or a Sarah Sanders to be part of the problem.

We all have live in this shitty and fucked up patriarchy. We are raised in it and steeped in it and all our ideas are shaped by it. Oppressing women is part of the very fabric of our society. We all have learning and unlearning and growing and changing we need to do. Even if you are a woman raised with horrible ideas about yourselves as women. Or a man raised with horrible ideas about women. It’s okay not to be perfect. That just means you are like everyone else, but it’s not fine to never examine yourself for things that need to be fixed. I guaran-goddamn-tee you that you need a tune-up.

The fight for the soul of our country is now underway and it’s not happening at the federal level. it’s happening at the state level. If you think you can skip voting because you’re somehow not wild about the eventual Democratic candidate for president in 2020 (or any of the other down-ticket races, for that matter), you are complicit in converting the United States of America to the Republic of Gilead. And now you should get off your asses like the rest of us and work overtime to retake Democratic control of our state legislatures before it is too late.

Suggested reading: Read The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement,Rick Perlstein’s genealogy of the modern conservative movement, Ari Berman’s Give Us the Ballot, Jane Mayer’s Dark Moneyand Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chainsto begin to answer these questions.

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